tv Book Discussion on I Got Schooled CSPAN December 7, 2013 7:45pm-8:46pm EST
interest in writing a book just to tell the life of the famous man. from the moment i first thought of doing books, i thought of biographies -- i thought of biographies as a way of examining the great forces that shape the times that they lived in, and, particularly, political power. why are political powers so important? well, we live in a democracy, so, ultimately, we have the power and the votes that we cast at the ballot boxes, and therefore, the more that we know about how political power really works, not as it's taught in textbooks, high schools, and colleges, but the raw naked reality of political power, the better our votes should be, and the bet or oir country should be. >> over the next few weeks, booktv, now in the 15th year on c-span2, is taking a look back at authors, books, and publishing news. you can watch all of the
programs from the past 15 years online at booktv.org. [applause] >> well, this is fun. i'm a fan, and i don't see any dead people here today. [laughter] a little joke. [laughter] actually, one of the memorable lines is "i see dead people" which is really fun. i like it. [laughter] i want to start up with something from your writing because i think when people want to read the book, they want to read something that you wrote. it's a personal book. it came out of you. it was not assigned to you. you picked the topic. you picked the passion,
education. this wonderful line is when you were in high school, a tough neighborhood in north phillie, where we grew up, irish somehow, black, and very tough, and it's a tough rundown neighborhood, the whole place, and you were talking to the kids, african-american kids there, wondering why you are the highest paid writer in the world, you tried to get their interest, right way to do it, i think. i'm more me than they are them. explain that about your success as a writer that you're more yourself than most people are themselves, or at least you delve deeper into what that is and how that took you to education as a passion. >> some of them were excited, some were not, trying to be provocative, so i said something
provocative. i said, word for word, i'm the highest paid writer in the world, and they sat up. okay. all the teachers in the back stood up too. i said, why is that? how do you think that happened? they said, luck? yes, that's possible, luck's involved for sure, and they said, you know somebody? actually, no, we're all indians, no, we don't know anybody. [laughter] nobody in film. so went on and on, and they guessed, and you work hard? i do, but certainly there are people that work harder than me, and i said, you know, there's definitely people smarter than me, you know, my english class in high school, there were two or three that were, and i said, you know, ultimately, i thought about it a lot, and it was -- i came down to the feeling that i was, you know, ultimately more me than they were them, and so, you know, i live 3,000 miles away from hollywood, wrote a screen play about just me feeling me in a fictional circumstance, but it was about my feeling about spiritualty, my
feeling on being a husband, a father, this or that, all of it, the arrogance, the flaws, all of it put together, you know, and i was telling the girl in the front because she was staring at me, just austerized from the group that if you write about your experience, why you're loaning on your hand like that? what happened today before you got here? why the guy behind you is doing that, why you can't hear your principal's voice on the speaker because the speaker's not fixed, and what does that make you feel? i can't be you. you are too -- you know, shown in an amazing light, and when you are yourself, it becomes like a light and pierces through everything, and i think that kind of comes from, something that i guess came from my parents or from, i don't know, from the culture that i was exposed to that there's something worthy in me; right? that's the thing you. kids to have, and, ncht, that exactly the opposite message they are getting. ultimately, the book became a kind of very, very
evidence-based book. all is very evidence-based. i try to keep my opinion out of it entirely, but my opinion is that we're talking about a civil rights issue, and my opinion is that outside the school, they are getting a message, the opposite one, the one that i just said about their work and about what the country believes in them because this is about achieving gaps in intercity, low income, african-american, and hispanic, and closing the gap with the white suburban counterparts so telling them the opposite message in the school that they are in to overcome the the message they get outside the house. >> well, separate by equal, illegal, unconstitutional now, and how do these kids, say, 9th grade, and say north phillie, how did they get the message that's wrong? when they walk into a classroom because they have to go, they have to go to school. their parents get them ready for school, they get their clothes together and hopefully they have
breakfast. they go to school. what are the signals they get that say you're infear your? that you're not beginning to get anything from this? what's the thing you try to fight as you get into trying to make education work? what's the bad education they are getting? >> so i think you are saying the opposite of what i'm saying. [laughter] they are getting them outside of school. when they walk in the school, the teachers trying to close the gap, they are dealing with such a hard problem; right? when i -- at the beginning of the book, i read a disclaimer saying this is making the assumption that no one is going to fix anything outside this school. no one's doing anything about the poverty, about the racism, anything. can you close the gap just in the school? put all of the burden on the teachers and the principals? they are not getting that message. that's not what the research is from, the schools. the school's like you have two kids, an intercity african-american city in june in second grade id and a white bush
suburban kid in second grade, they can be at the same level in june when they graduate. when they come back in september. the white suburban kid gained one month of learning from the experience he had, and the african-american kid lost three months of learning. they are now four months apart in september, and the teachers, again, have different burdens; right? it's not they are getting a bad education. it's that the issues that those teachers teach are very different than the white suburban teachers face; right? that kid is ahead of what the teacher's going to teach them. this kid's three months behind, has to do second grade stuff all over again while trying to get third grade stuff. you see how it's a different challenge. what we're talking about is outside the school. i did not find in the research and through all the years of meeting that the problem was actually what you were insip waiting there, they got the wrong message in the school. it's what happens when they leave the school until the next
morning when they come home. >> two things. you talk about the bad teacher, the roadblock teacher. what is that? >> what we're talking about there is, like, you know, there's, you know, when you look at how powerful the number one thing is the teacher; right? a great teacher, the one in the top 20th percentile. if you get four grade teachers in a row, that teacher alone can close the gap. those teachers alone. it was possible for everyone in the country to be taught by the top 20%, that's all you have to do. that's how powerful they are; right? now, the very, very bottom group, the bottom 2-33%, which in the book i call them, they are causing so much, so much pull, so much damage, so much loss that three or four decent teachers in the middle can't overcome one child getting one of those teachers putting so much pull. >> how does that work? how does the unone do so much
damage in the row of four? >> let's just say in that thing, the teacher above average, a good teacher, they are gaining a little. they are gaining a little bit. four in a row, you gain, if by chance you got four in a row of the 60% teacher, you gain, but the damage done by the two-thirds is losing a grade, losing an entire grade with the one teacher. that's what i'm referring to. i do want to clarify one thing, though, because that -- when you look at all the data, and you look at all the things that the book says, these are the things that you find that will close the gap. everyone goes to the thing, you know, fire the teachers, fire the teachers. that's not what the research says. if you say to me, you can only do one thing, that's not the thing i would do. you can only do two thingsing that's not what the research says to do. do three things, that's still not the thing to do. that is not -- everybody's attention is always on that, and that's not what the research says is thee thing that's pulling everything down.
just want to -- you know, you brought it up because -- >> i guess i read it. >> it's one that's most, you know -- i just want to make sure. >> one of the five. >> one in the five. >> so i was not off base. >> no, you were not, but i wanted to balance it. [laughter] >> i think you're argumentative. [laughter] >> you protest too much. [laughter] >> it seems to me this sigh is going through a royaling political year the last couple years. we had a mayor most liked. he was not the most connected guy in the world, a bit a loof, but he was hoppest, which is god, and he was respected, which is good. he had a school board who was judged to be very tough, demanding, almost like a tiger mom, who basically had an attitude about getting rid of bad teachers. along comes randy, american federation of teachers, drops a million bucks in the coffers, and knocked this person out.
people thought it was not a good thing for the city. your view? >> wow. >> ha! [laughter] >> wow. okay. so let's go back a bit. so i met michelle, we met her for the book when she was chancellor, and a lovely lady, forthcoming with the beliefs and that stuff, so here's the reality. you're going to think i'm dancing around your question, and maybe i am, but -- [laughter] if -- a lot of the ground breaking work that's caused the research to happen over the last ten years has been by those vanguard tfa alumni that broke the system and done it their own way whether it's kip or we can go on with the list; right? they have actually created the tendency. that mentality of shattering the room and i'm going to start over and i'm going to do it differently and see what works, that's caused us to have the moment that we have here now where we do have the
information, and that meant that rebellious rogue kind of mentality caused change, and it has caused all of the evidence that we have today, so i have -- i'm -- i don't want to weigh in on the politics of it all of, you know, did she go too far, did she hand 8 it in the politically right way, to make change, and as i i want mated in the first response to you, i -- the research doesn't say that getting rid of the work that those bottom teachers is the silver bullet. that's not what the research says. >> is it a bullet? >> it's part of the -- >> you know the politics of this. >> yes. >> for years, this town, it's been hard to get a job in the private sector if you're african-american, and 10 -- so the government, first resort a government jobs for african-americanings and teaching jobs were respected in the community. a teacher, a woman especially, teaching for 20-30 years was respected in the community, and this was a prized position. in comes this person from outside says, we're going to get
rid of some u you people. people put up barricades, this was a place we had to get jobs, and now you're putting a price on our head? >> right, right. >> that's a cartoon version, but this is what it was, and there was a lot of fighting from the poor wards, for example, i can tell what happened, and the elite wards said, sure. it was a class distinction fights in politics all the time. how do you settle it? >> well, again, that's the hope of this that when we make legislative decisions or a chancellor in a school, a school system is making decisions that they are looking at what's been improving, they want to prove new things. that's just the nature of, you know, all of us trying to do our own thing, but there's so much that has been proven, and they have data bind them. in fact, when we met michelle, michelle was very excited about the book, and she's been a big sporter because she wanted to have that ammunition herself, you know, and everybody -- by the way, and even we had teachers union over for dinner,
i am a -- from a families of doctors and it's an evidence-based field. they don't guess how to do heart surgery. they don't know, i think i'm going to go to -- it's crazy, right? it's crazy so why would you say these are the factors that come in, right? for some reason this field doesn't share the information. i have met with someone in charge of one of the biggest cities in the country of all the public schools and they said they are going to start their own charter school to find out what works best. they have the best charter schools and they won't take that information. i was like, why is everybody starting -- and they are all getting to the same thing. mike feinberg, they are all
coming to the same conclusions. there's so much overlap in the best practices category. you don't have to figure out how to do heart surgery. someone else did that already so let's do it as an extra field. >> you start with what i think is a presumption that people hear this public schools are not working. the public schoolteachers unions are protecting teachers are not the students. >> i did and say that. >> i see that's a presumption that charter schools are better than traditional public schools and if you pick up kids like i try to do with our family worry you try to help them. >> what was the last thing you said? >> traditional schools, people think charter schools are better. what i am setting up here is your chance to tell the truth that the presumption is that charter schools are better than traditional schools. opportunity scholarships which are basically vouchers at the washington jesuit school the
parents will do what they can but the rest is helped by other people to get a good education so we are looking for opportunities for kids to really want to work and give them some help. it seems to me you don't think these clichéd ideas, we can change schools by going from public to charter and pick up the baskets and help them. you have a very democratic argument in your book which is the bottom quintile has to be helped. the gap is frightening. it's not that we take the top one or two quintiles and boost them and make them success stories but the gap -- the frightening thing is in america there will be this gap and we must not just help the elite or the a students, we have to get the kids who have the biggest challenges coming from poverty families. we should point out that poverty is an explanation for most poor performance. it's not iq, it's poverty. this audience is pretty liberal i think so i think --
i mean liberal and a good sense. they don't have fixed positions. tell me why what i laid out is the problem. randi weingarten and politics affects teachers recommend students and doesn't understand you have to help. i am for the elite kids. i meet them and they are poised and confident and smart and ready to work. i say do you go to catholic school and the kids says yeah. i don't want to go to catholic school. i've been there but i think it's coming from undisciplined backgrounds need that discipline. here is my prejudices. i'm laying them out. families that come with disorganization of school need to go to organization of school more than what i'm able -- willing to put up with like nuns mad. >> where do we start? [laughter] no, no there are so many things i want to say about what you said. first of all we started this and we went at it because i went to
sit down with everybody. anybody on all levels and just say what works, what works and everyone had a different set of things and everyone was giving opinions. i said that's great. i want to know what the facts are and what was really interesting is that no one really had the whole handle on the whole list and yet these are the top people in the field. that was fascinating. why is there an assumption that it hasn't been proven yet? the first thing we did is we decided to take our research efforts and get interns and get researchers and gather all the information so we could put it all on the table. let's get all the research classroom size, this, that in the other thing, everything you can think of. try the categories. it's hundreds and hundreds of articles and trials organizing and looking at it. we got it all together, two years of that and it's just a
mess. you have one thing here that says it does work and you have one here that says it doesn't work. what are we looking at? i'm feeling like they are feeling. i'm going to go intuitively through this and cut it. i know what works for my kid so i'm going to implement that. that is not where you want to be so you need to step back. we are at a moment where that would have been the impasse in the book i talk about this moment. [inaudible] it's like that moment. we were at dinner with our friends who are the brilliant doctors and one of them teaches in residence" he says when they first come in is i need you to know something. we are talking about education by the way. he said i need you guys to know something. tell your patience this. if they do these five things,
sleep eight hours a day, exercise three times a day, have a balanced diet, don't smoke and be cognizant of your mental health and your work environmenf your -- if you do these five things your chances of getting all these jobs to such an incredible level it needs every pill and treatment ever created. they said i don't believe it and he said here's all the data but this is the thing after member. if you don't do one of them the chances go back to the norm. that is where it went and i went oh my god that's what we are looking for. we are looking for a set of things because it's a system. the body is a system that wants to be healthy. every inner city school district is working the same way. it's working as a system so how does the system worked? then we spent the next few years looking at the data and billing
are there sets of things that you see? when this trial was done i got a positive report and it was done with this and we started linking it. when you looked at it under that health care paradigm which is probably a system paradigm you saw it. it started to emerge and we started to go wow that works, that small school works when you do this and when you do this. if you'd do one of them you will get a lot of false positives with a lot of people dying on the treadmill. oh exercise. you're going to get that. you don't smoke, that means you are healthy. that's silly so those equivalents. we found all these tenets that came to the surface. wow will we do this together the research says this should close the gap. we went around the country looked at the schools that had closed the gap created every single one of them would have
these five tenets. did i get it right and the research was dead on. what happens when you find out is geoffrey canada or whoever we are talking about feed it out themselves because they are unbelievable. they figured it out themselves. what we are talking about doing as is those five things we are talking about. the research supports when you do these five things that allows the system to work. the teachers that are towards the bottom will still be able to succeed of all of these things are in place. that is what it's there for. not just the top 20% succeed but everybody succeeds. that is why when you say to be optimistic, that is what is so exciting. i was looking at it assuming there was an answer. assuming there was an answer there and there was. >> one of the five that impressed me was leadership and
it's not just in the classroom but in the school. talk about leadership, how the principal walking down the hall are stopping in the classes mehow makes the school, it's one of your five keys. >> the research supports that and the schools that are closing that gap the principal is spending 80% of their time engaging teachers. they're not doing management stuff but not fund-raising. management has been pushed to another branch. this sounds natural and intuitive. if you are asked a ballplayer i wouldn't want the coach in the backroom trying to get people in the seats. he needs to coach us. what you find as they are going in and out of the classrooms evaluating and always observing. you have to keep your voice up over here when you do this and you might want to look at that yourself. you didn't seem clear on that. schools that are closing the gap on the doors are open in the
runcible smacker coming in and out all the time. it's just natural to coach will say do this and do that. one of the things we were talking about, the two things done together, the idea. the small schools would be the equivalent. you remember the gates foundation was behind this and stopped being for it. not smoking doesn't mean you are healthy. a smaller school allows the principal to do this. if there were 400 classrooms they couldn't possibly do what i'm saying. one person couldn't do this kind of intense coaching and showing the data and giving best practices. you get this feeling of being a part of the system and you are like hey mrs. hoffer used this look and did this. do you want to try that? best practices comes to the forefront and you feel supported. by the time the coach had me for two years the coach had me here.
the other things we found is they did that and one thing that's critically important. they created an extremely strong culture, extremely strong. it doesn't even matter the specifics. like kip has five is an achievement first has this and uncommon schools has their own version of the things on the wall. they are not exactly the same but they are all positive. they are all empowering but it doesn't matter necessarily what the specifics are. it means everybody, the secretary, the janitor, everybody is in on it and everybody is screaming to these kids as they are trying to get screaming louder. they hear whispers when they walk out, you don't matter, you can see it and we are told from family members and the media and everywhere. they are screaming a different message.
the head of the uncommon schools told me you know that culture eats strategy for lunch. you create this thing. as soon as they come in, like there's a school in newark. you should check the school out. it's called norstar academy. it's like a pep rally. in the morning they come in and they're like yeah. the teachers, and they have their alma mater's. they come running into the cafeteria in the classroom the kids get comps. the kids are doing cheers from the teacher's alma mater. whatever message they are getting is being eradicateeradicated in 30 seconds when i walk in there. i was like those kids are crushing academically and creating a gap the other way. you can see it in the continuum when we talk about this culture effects. when you look at schools like school systems closing the gap but the mona continuum and you can see.
i would pick one on the side which would be first-line academy in new orleans and the uncommon schools over here. they are more and more prescriptive as you go to that, prescriptive's in terms of how you teach him how you speak and in terms of what you teach. in the uncommon schools there is a line from the classroom. the kids walk in kids walk in a line that at the military school to get there. do you find this offensive? you shouldn't because every second counts. everything is important. the way you walk in the way you speak. either way they are uberconsistent in the schools. they know in third grade they will be judged the same way in fifth grade and they don't have to learn a new code. they know exactly what's going to be expected of them. there is a wonderful school in brooklyn underachievement first.
if they have the correct answer the kids shine and they go like this. the whole school does this. it's so empowering. it's fair culture, and whatever they are getting told outside they just got shined by 50 kids. you can't tell me i'm worthless. the the kids just shined me 10 times today. i'm not believing this thing you're telling me when i walk outside of the school. it's like a leader tenant when you look at one of the tenants, how much time they spend in the culture they create. >> one thing you talked about is this hard notion you have what teachers are supposed to be by growth in how you measure it. you talk in the book about how you can tell who the teacher is because there is growth. what is that kid is that could liken june? when you talk about the school systems that have these five keys is it measurable? it's not like summerhill where everybody does what they feel
like doing. you have a clear notion of people coming to this country. they can afford to have a lot of going on in the school. it's pretty hard. this kirkland and you're talking about. >> i think your passion for the jesuits and the catholic schools and a version of the culture conversation. >> we used to recite, the annan smack would have us for site the partridge in a pear tree and we would add to it every day coming back for much time. we would study for an hour. we would study every lesson we had up until then reciting it. mother is the memory of education. everything is parroted back over and over again and that is the way the nuns taught. >> there are two things why this is surprising. i thought coming in, let everybody be themselves and they will be incredible things that
happen. let everybody figured out for themselves. take the brilliant guys in the brilliant when -- women and let them figure it all out. that is where i came from only started. my bias was there. we are going to find that so let's find it in the research that is the case. i had my bias is too. i also want to catholic schools and i was like that can't be the way. [laughter] as i said the research was more and more prescriptive and i said to myself when i was doing the research, let's say i was a top-level teacher. say i was, i'm i met the top-level teacher. what i want to be a part of the system that is so prescriptive? i'm an artist. i don't want anyone telling me how to make movies area nobody should tell me how to make a movie so the is seen as offensive. what you find is you would think what we'll call the superman or the really capable one wouldn't
want to be part of that system but it's actually not the case at all. in fact, i will tell you the number one thing teachers want is a sense of satisfaction, sense of being heard. it isn't money. they are what you would guess, the most selfless people in our community and it isn't those things we try to put on them. they want to succeed with these kids. when you are part of the system that succeed where 90% of the kids are going to college, you are going to feel good and if you are that superman you are creating a lot of the best practices that your peers are emulating. the principal is hearing it and disseminating it. look what joe schmoe did with his second grade class. you feel heard and valued. you do feel like the best version of yourself and play team ball so that's really.
>> what did you think of the movie? there are lot of people in new york city a lot of african-american women working class vote killing themselves to get in line for the these scholarships and the other was this movement where teachers ard sit there day after day to record the fact that they showed up. it's just like they're being warehouse. is that all true? >> yes but again when you say those things that is not my reflection of the four years i have seen in the research. i don't go yeah man, hey yeah man. again it was beautifully done and truthful but it was kind of leaning towards certain things. we didn't find the evidence for the voucher system.
it's just not there. >> what about the kids who want vouchers? >> we believe that america was built on competition and all that stuff, it's just not there yet. i'm just telling you it's not there. it's just not fair and that is why it's not in the tenants. i want to address this whole thing we have to go get those teachers. i don't have that feeling from the research. it's not what it says and in fact what i'm saying to you is all these things are spokes on a wheel to help the teachers, to help support the teacher in the classroom. we need a system that 97 or 90% of the teachers in this whole country can succeed. that is what we should be looking to do. finding ways to support them and convincing them that we are supporting them, that they don't have to do it themselves. but they are feeling about doing themselves is making this class
smaller. i know i can do that are such as give me that. there are some clear evidence for that but we do have evidence for these other things that can help again. if you extend the school year for example we can show with the research that when you get the students they will be out of place or you can actually continue to teach them rather than going back. on that one subject, we support a guy in philadelphia named alejandro and andy is a thing called springboard collaborative. he's a brilliant kid who concentrated on his summer likely talk about. this guy by the way -- we said it first here but he's an incredible individual. he has a program in the summer for the kids and he teaches them reading with their parents and he keeps them in there for five weeks. the first group that he did, you
know what let's get the first one. he has 800 kids all from the worst schools and all that stuff he has 98% parent involvement. those kids gain three months of reading. you heard that right. they are two months ahead of their white suburban peers. they are adapting the other way. they are six months ahead of their unfortunate peers that did not go to this. they are half a grade ahead and he has had incredible results. he actually has proven that two-thirds of the education gap, two-thirds of what we are talking about is created from the summer slide the wind factor. if you just did that, just did that, you are releasing their word and so much. so many more teachers are going to succeed.
so many more teachers are going to be a will to do the thing they need to do that you won't have this division. the hope is to support the teacher and show them the research. this will really help you and they can feel not so protective of only their own thing because they have been alone quite a bit >> i love this thing about your movie. i told him you said the unifying theory of success was communication. i love learning that. in fact it's one of my top movies of my lifetime. let me tell you something in terms of this book having read it. the great thing about this book is not the bottom line that you just did enunciate it. if the odyssey and the narrative of how he discovered this. i went to his tough schools like overbrook and philly and wally jones. the great ballplayers came out of olbermann which you describe in terms. these are tough schools and the
fact that you went into them and he felt a little bit uncomfortable and going there and learning the story of your education. it's such a great reason to read this book. it's sort of the cursory bottom line. this book must be locked to be fully appreciated. anyway, it's true. i'm going to turn it over for 20 minutes of questions. all you have to do is raise your hand and i will recognize you real quick and i will stay out of it. i'm sorry, there's a rule here. there is a mic. come on up. you will be first and then we will do everybody in line. so get in line them we will have the first cut. thank you all for coming. you are going to stick around and sign books, right? i really think you should. >> i have two questions. number one do believe that we should teach to the test and
number two you think there should be a national curriculum? >> you know the best practices thing and now we are getting into my opinion which you can throw out. >> what the's your research show? >> again there is no research on what you just said but would indicate that s. practices describing best practices as is a way to alleviate the burden for the individual teachers. if you want the whole system to succeed. for example i would go to school systems that were closing the gap and some of them were not doing it prescriptive way. they were doing it by the superman theory so i would ask the teachers this. this is a school that is closing the gap so i would say how do you socialize? they look at me. they are just staring at me. we don't have one. they are giggling and i'm asking for real. they are like no, no we don't.
i'm like how often do you work? its around-the-clock all weekend. can you see yourself doing this in six years or 10 years and they shake their head. it's awful and they shake their heads no. that is what we are trying to get around. there are superman and superwomen for sure but we don't want a system that relies on that and the one that are more for script device where i would ask him the same as tim. how is your social life? i went to this concert last night. they would give a normal reaction. how about you? you are engaged. can you do this 10 years from now? yeah i think so. there is more hope because the word and wasn't there. best practices is a way to alleviate the system so everyone doesn't have to invent how to do heart surgery by themselves. it's too much so if we can get to a very advanced version of hey this is a curriculum that
everyone should follow we are getting there. there's a reason that when you look at the charter schools they are not on the whole better than the traditional public schools. public schools are more prescriptive so they have more evenness and the charter schools are like this. the average is the same. you can raise the prescription theoretically. that is my opinion so i'm extrapolating on what i found from individuals. sorry, i'm so long-winded. >> thank you. i taught for 10 years in boston in a public school so that's kind of the disclaimer. and then i just finished my ph.d.. i actually studied school culture and i looked at the school i worked in a very progressive school. and he written original skit --
kip school. i was interested because they are totally different cultures but rose to the top was this interest by the principals and the staff in continual improvement. they found ways to do that but they are both working within the system that is very sort of punitive accountability, especially my school because it's not as highly-regarded. so that is one thing. >> it was more punitive because of that? >> well, i feel like kip focuses on test scores so they were doing great with tests. i will just tell you really quickly. the reason why it was interested in the original kip school in houston is because the principal there did his own research and found the kids who graduated from middle school went on to
these elite really good high schools for their test scores. when they got there, they sort of fell down a little bit socially and in writing. that was the main thing. what he surmise from that is writing is about thinking. he started making changes because of all this real prescriptive stuff. that is my question to you. the first thing that you said, one of the first things you talked about was how you told kids about being yourself and letting yourself shine through. these schools that you talked about and i don't know if you talk about other ones but the achievement first, the chanting and all of that is about kids taking on this other persona. it is like a pep rally but when they leave, what happens? when they don't have the structure, what what happens and are they able to develop
themselves so that when they are out there in the world they can navigate the way the kids who go to these really elite like the dear fields and i don't now, you know the public equivalent of that. that is my question to you. and i want to say lee i'm surprised because i wanted to not like you. being a teacher, i have to say the two main points are that teacher unions are the problem. we should fire the bottom percentage of teachers in charter schools are the answers. i thank you for doing that. >> it was well made. she doesn't want an answer. she just ran away. it's fascinating, i think part of the culture that succeeds i think is that culture doing a little of what i was saying about you are worthy and you are
powerful and we hear you that they are very intense. part of i believe part of the culture that the principals are doing in those schools that succeed is, what the book is about is closing the achievement gap. is that solving all of our woes? i don't know. can we close the achievement gap yes so you can say is that the test scores? my daughters, our daughters go to this amazing school. why am i doing this calculus problem? you are learning how to learn. that is what you are doing here. you are building your muscles. why do i lift a weight over my head? so i can do what i want to do with my body. you are learning how to learn. you didn't understand that in you figured out that you don't ever have that feeling. i can't believe, i know it's limited.
this is the most important thing that test score but succeeding at anything is a powerful thing to learn for yourself. it's not the end of the game. all these kids are going to get to college and face difficulties that message that was told to them is still in their head and still there. it's a dramatic movement in the right direction and we educated generation and educating a generation is a good thing. is it the only way? probably not but it's definitely a good thing. >> hi. >> hi. i would like to ask the questiot television, educational television such as exists in the united states, what impact does it have on those kids that are trying to move out of poverty and the second question is
really -- actually let me ask the first question and that i will mention the second one. >> you said aged -- educational tv with regard to closing the achievement gap? i didn't find any evidence of that but i will look into it to see if there is. i'm sorry, didn't have any information. >> the second question is, you mentioned when the kids go for breaks and they come back three or four months later. what is happening in those cases? >> what is happening is a lack of experiences and a lack of stimulation. it isn't that the white suburban district is getting tutored. they are but they are being tutored by the people they are around. my kids will hear me going on and on about something that i read or something that i believe he said this and i can't believe he said that. they are getting the stimulation
of thought because they're getting a classroom. there are all these stats on the extremely low income families say 2 million less words per year. it's a different atmosphere on top of the whole hey let's go visit the grand canyon. on top of all that stuff where they get to have different experiences, that each difference in stimuli, that huge difference in learning the provocative nature of the environment is gigantic. it's two-thirds of the reason that the gap exists. >> should the government be in boston trying to close that gap? the again the book says we will assume that's not going to change, the home environment. we will change the home environment i educating this generation for one generation in their homes will be very different. that is the premise. if help comes in the other way to my fantastic. again is it possible to close the gap?
by the way one of them is more time in early childhood. more time in the school helps. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you for your talk. i will read your look. so, if we acknowledge the importance of culture, which i do and i wonder whether you agree that it's easier to start a new culture than it is to rip one out and change from within. if you agree with that then i wonder what you think about trying to change the significant base of troubled schools as opposed to restarting them as opposed to starting a new? >> wow you know that's a very
topical and important question. we do not find the research that supports you know crush a school and start over again from scratch. i'm giving you my opinion. when you are renovating a house, it's harder to renovate a house. a lot of people say we can do it ourselves but there are so much unity in the original house that you can maintain. we renovated our house even though i know it would have been easier to raise it. now we have the beauty of the new thoughts and old dots that are there. and so it's harder but that is the one i would want for everybody is the renovation rather than the racing. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hi. he talked a lot about comparing suburban schools to schools in
inner cities and poor communities and i was wondering if you look at schools that are in rural areas in poor communities and affairs a similar achievement gap and if the techniques that you look at our applicable fare as well? >> you know there are different issues in those schools because again i believe in this is an opinion what we are talking about isn't racism alive and well and thriving. forgive me, i had two interviews today, forgive me if i'm repeating. if i do just tell me to shut up. you know the comparisons to all countries, finland is number one. if you take out the schools of high poverty out of the equation and keep all the rest of the schools, take out the inner-city schools, the low income inner-city schools and keep everyone of the schools in
united states we are number one in the world. by a lot. we crush them. so we are doing a good job teaching kids so we are doing a good job. it's a racist country. what are you going to do? that is what we are talking about. the thing you're talking about, there's another book to be written about how to make our traditional schools better. that will be a whole set of other things. how do you make them better? by the way getting them to the white suburban schools is not our goal. that's our baseline. when we get there let's make everything great. there's a whole bunch of stuff with regard to those rural schools but that wasn't the research we were looking up carried it was related to the inner-city inequalities with these communities.
>> i am wondering in the 250 schools that are closing the achievement gap if you identified any strategies in terms of engaging families that helped make the families part of the team that was educating the child and if anything stood out to you? >> so, this is my thing. there is going to be a sixth tenant and it will be engaging the families in the community. there isn't the research for me to put it in a book. they didn't do a control group saying the school over here took fifth grade and they went to their parents into this and make up this effect happening. that hasn't been done yet. i know from anecdotal information from the principals and teachers that this will be the case. the sixth tenet will be this. what will that mean?
again at turbocharging factor this is what our friend alejandro does. he uses the families and it makes -- he teaches them how to teach the kids. they are talking about the pretense of verbs and this embedding engaging in vocabulary. he is getting incredibly high results and now he's looking into -- the parents have asked to continue that program during the school year so he's doing a pilot program extending the day with the parents. right now with these tenants it's hard work to close the gap with these five tenants. it's hard and this is an opinion, i believe it's because those schools aren't fully taking charge of this one other aspect that alejandro is. the sixth will make it that much easier to close that gap 100%.
[inaudible] >> could, give it to me. i have to read the next book. >> i believe there is economic segregation now. a lot of my kids will fall asleep in class. if they had single parents who were in jail they wouldn't have a home. they didn't have meals and things that i couldn't deal with to go to work every day. one of the solutions i thought of and i don't have your research but boarding schools. pulling kids out of that environment and putting them into boarding schools. has this been done in? >> again that is the way to solve this environmental message issue that you talked about. i am sure it would work. that sounds like a costly answer for the entire system to do. we are looking at kind of scalable research that is possible to say if everyone did these things you will get net gains. yeah it is fascinating because
most of the schools we look at have 85 to 90% free lunch and free everything. the kids come in and they give them breakfast and give them quizzes while the eat to breakfast before school starts. >> you didn't see any schools that had that the. >> no, did we see any? there are some but again as a prescriptive solution for the country it would be very difficult. >> i was wondering if that would work though. >> i think it does. >> we have the last question and then we will do signing. >> would you elaborate a bit on the topic of grits and perseverance? there has been considerable coverage of it in the media lately and academic journals.
some indications that it can be taught. how well does that work and do you recommend it's? >> again i'm going to be real clear. there wasn't research for me to put it as a prescriptive thing but i do believe that that is a big thing in cultures that are closing the gap. in fact we met a guy -- where is he from? was he from harvard or yale, the dream the future project? there is the he's missing in terms of the faculty of the schools which is that they are kind of the character person. they call them the dream leader in the schools and they are addressing this subject and building the person to handle all those things because they have been torn down so much outside. there is a lot of research coming and a lot of people have been coming to me about this
"the uninteded reformation" them resented his look on the protestant reformation in western society and culture. professor agrees the recipient of the 2013 isi henry and anne paulucci book award. this is a little over one hour. >> all right, well, good evening and welcome. welcome to the 2013 isi henry and anne paulucci book award presentation. my name is mark henry and i'm senior vice president and chief academic officer at the intercollegiate studies institute, isi. for those of you who may be new to us isi is a national education organization founded in 1953 and philadelphia and headquartered since 1996 on centerville rd. in greenville. isi's mission is to educate for